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Station Crew Prepares for ATV-2 Undocking

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jun 17, 2011 9:18 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 28 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station focused on departure preparations for a European cargo craft Thursday as they continued their scheduled science, maintenance and exercise activities.

As the “Johannes Kepler” Automated Transfer Vehicle-2 (ATV-2) nears the end of its mission at the station, Flight Engineer Ron Garan loaded it with trash and other unneeded items for disposal and Flight Engineer Alexander Samokutyaev checked out and tested proximity operations equipment on the spacecraft. The European Space Agency supply ship, which delivered seven tons of cargo when it docked to the aft port of the Zvezda service module on Feb. 24, is scheduled to undock from the station Monday for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

On Wednesday, ATV-2’s engines were fired to raise the station’s altitude more than 6 statute miles. A second reboost originally scheduled for Wednesday was deferred until Friday due to power management considerations, and will leave the station in the proper orbit for upcoming visiting vehicle activities.

Commander Andrey Borisenko performed maintenance on the Elektron oxygen generation system in the Russian segment of the station Thursday. Samokutyaev spent time working with the Pneumocard experiment, an integrated study of the cardiovascular systems of crew members in various phases of long duration spaceflight. He also spent some time with the RUSALKA experiment. RUSALKA is a test of procedures for remote determination of methane and carbon dioxide content in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The station’s newest residents, Flight Engineers Sergei Volkov, Mike Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa had some time set aside to continue familiarization and orientation activities.

All six station residents also had time to complete their daily physical exercise routines to counteract the effects of long-term exposure to weightlessness in space.

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